Greece’s yachting tourism professionals are calling on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to annul a recent joint ministerial decision which does away with tax-deductibles on the purchase and operations of recreational watercraft.
In a meeting this week organized by the Greek Professional Yacht Owners Bareboat Association, the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association and the Greek Yachting Association, under the auspices of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, yachting professionals warned that the decision will be detrimental to the future of sea tourism and will particularly impact recreational vessels used in tourism.
Furthermore, they claim, recreational watercraft owners will opt to sail under foreign flags and seek berthing services in other countries, inevitably leading to a loss in taxes and jobs.
The decision foresees 24 percent VAT on purchase as well as taxation on all services provided, which until now were exempt.
Among others, the implementation of the decision will lead to the deceleration of shipbuilding, buying and replacement activities; an increase in the cost of chartering; a loss of jobs as crew will seek employment abroad; a reduction in contributions to insurance funds; a reduction in revenue for the state due to berthing outside Greece; a decline in incoming foreign exchange; and a decrease in the sector’s financial contribution to regional economies.
According to data cited by the professional bodies, there are currently 5,280 professional vessels currently in operation employing more than 4,500 Greek seafarers and directly impacting over 120 occupations.